No, Non, Nein, Nyet

The Daily Post, Topic #78: What is the strangest thing that’s ever happened to you on a bus?

Awhile back, I wrote about how in the last year or so I have learned how very much I enjoy saying yes to things. For the most part that is still true, save when I am on the bus. After nearly ten years as a daily patron of TriMet, I have learned that the safest answer to any question someone asks me while riding on or waiting for a bus is a resolute, “No.”

A time when “No” sort of served me well.

Late at night, on my way home after class in grad school, headphones in, most definitely not looking to make friends.

Woman (after staring me down for so long that I had to look at her and take headphones out): “Are you Russian?”
Me: No.
Her: Oh. Good.
Me: Why? Would it be a problem if I was?
Her: Well wouldn’t it?
Me: [Headphones back in ears]

Some times when I should have said “No.”

-No thank you sir, I do not need you to unbandage your hand and arm to show me your ulcerated and likely infected wound. You can continue asking me what I think you should do about it, but my answer will continue to be the same, “You should go see a doctor.”

– No, mostly nice but kind of creepy bus driver, I am not interested in your Noni juice sales pitch, which is clearly an effort to get me looped into a pyramid scheme. I do not need you to talk to me about it almost every day for so many weeks in a row that I start taking a different bus just to avoid you.

– No, lady at the bus stop, I will not attempt to zip up the back of your dress for you. If I do, you will inexplicably get angry with me. You will get very angry with me, as though I was with you in front of your closet this morning, took out the two-sizes-too-small dress and forced you to wear it.

Even after all this, do I honestly believe I’ve learned my lesson? Nope, probably not.

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